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Author Topic: Pictures/information about your work bench/working area please...  (Read 16074 times)

RipSlider

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Pictures/information about your work bench/working area please...
« on: September 04, 2008, 01:00:35 PM »

Hello oh makers of high quality models.

This weekend sees me moving house, which is a drag, but Mrs Steve has decreed that the event will take place, and so I have been dragged along for the ride.

Mrs Steve is also currently the size of, if not a bus, then at least a ford mondeo due to brewing a child, and, much to my annoyance, has been reading all sorts of books which seem designed to terrify mothers to be about the awful things which can happen to children - most of which seem to be things I did as a kid and enjoyed immensely.

The upshot of this is that ALL hobby activites, even such things as painting toy soliders etc have been banned from the house incase the child ends up growing a second set of legs, horns, or something equally as awful. fumes, I think, were the issue that sealed my fate.


As the is a shed the size of Windsor Castle at the new house, all dull things such as lawn mowers, empty fish tanks, the cat when it's being a pain etc will go in there, leaving the garage entirely free for me and my hobbies.

A man who knows his way around a chisel and lumps of wood is making me a great big work bench ( out of seasoned oak so even clumsy lumps like me might be able to more than three months use out of it ) so that bit is taken care of. I am also going to re-roof said garage so that it is water tight - it currently has a vast hole in the roof, so I suspect will not be much use in winter as it is - and while I'm doing that I will be adding insulation, insulating the door and will probably put some off cut carpet down.

Lastly, a load of tools have either been ordered or have already arrived, based on advice provided to me in a previous thread, and so I will no longer be building models using a razor blade and an old file as my main tools.

All well and good so far, but the question now is how to organise all this stuff into a practical working area.

I have given much consideration to the "dump it all in the corner, and hope the thing you want is on the top of the pile" method, but this has been less than sucsessful in my current working enviroment so I have come to the conclusion that I need to be better organised.

So, I am looking for your advice on these things.

Do you have a clever way of storing your wood so it doesn't bend? How do you keep the most commonly used tools around you, but don't clutter up your working area etc etc etc.

The areas I would like to know about your choices are:

1) Lighting - desk lamps? light the whole area? daylight bulbs? What do you find is good.
2) storage - how do you store different items? any clever methods or neat tricks you have come accross? Any good makers of storage devices you would recommend?
3) seating - what do you sit on - stool, big comfy chair, desk chair? And is it wise to add more than one chair - pro is that it's good for visitors, cons is that it might encourage visitors when you don't want them.
4) Do such things as kettles and possiby a place to store beer or a radio have a place in a hobby room or are they a distraction
5) lay out - do shelves work? Or are they just a pain if your sitting down most of the time? Should tools be kept in cupboards out of the way? Or maybe hung up on the wall.

Any advice on any or all of these topics greatfully recieved. Even if you have things one way, but would prefer it a different way.


they say that a picture is worth a thousand words, so if you have any good things to suggest, please add a picture.

Or just add a picture of your work area and point out any bits you find either good or bad.


Thanks very much in advance

Steve
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barryfoote

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Re: Pictures/information about your work bench/working area please...
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2008, 01:15:21 PM »

This is my workroom and I love it. Just wish I had made both benches longer. That said, I can fit my models and tools with no real problem. Just have to clean it up every few months.

barry
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dreadnought72

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Re: Pictures/information about your work bench/working area please...
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2008, 01:39:49 PM »

Hi Steve - you lucky man.

Questions first:

1/ Do you have natural light in there?
2/ Is it from the north?
3/ Could the "big hole in the roof" add to the light if veluxxed? (That's a new verb, btw.)

Secondly, whilst working in my attic, or on the scrap end of the kitchen table, I've dreamt about proper working spaces - and the thing that comes to my mind is "kitchens". That whole ergonomic triangle thing - cooker/sink/surface - that most kitchens ought have. With a comfy wheeled chair you could work in a bench/tools/fridge triangle, or similar.

One thing I would STRONGLY recommend, though, is decent height surfaces. I find kitchen ones way too low - built for average height women, and not 5'11" fellas hurting their backs bending down to the sink. So get your chair, and work out exactly what height you're best with.

Andy
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Re: Pictures/information about your work bench/working area please...
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2008, 01:46:03 PM »

Hi
Here is my 2 work places. The shed and the spare room


Martin
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Bunkerbarge

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Re: Pictures/information about your work bench/working area please...
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2008, 02:30:22 PM »

Steve,

I have always made a point of separating my working areas into three distinctly different parts, one for metalwork, one for woodwork and one for electrical.  This is mainly because I have quite different tools available at each location and I always have tools on boards at the back of the work area to keep things easily accessible.

Another point is imagine of the number of sockets you think you need then double it!!  You can never have enough and you will always want more.  Things like chargers of various batteries always seem to be taking up sockets that I want for other things.

Lighting, daylight lamps are the best nowadays, either the ring type or the straight tube.  If however you are lighting rotating machinery such as lathes or pedestal drills you should always have a double tube fitting to eliminate the strobe effect.

Seating I have a big stool but spend a lot of time standing anyway.  If anyone visits they stand with me!  You need to be at the correct height for your worktop otherwise you will very quickly start to ache.  I use kitchen units in the woodwork area and a breakfast bar stool to get me at the right height.

Shelves are inevitable for storing such things as reference books and putting boats on that you are not working on.  The important thing is to make sure that your working surface is big enough to do everything you need.

The final thing for me, I found it a real pain constantly turning my boat around to get access from one side to the other.  One of the best things I ever bought was a kitchen island unit on wheels so I can now walk around the model and work on all sides without having to move it.  It also has additional drawers and storage and I find it absolutely brilliant.
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Pictures/information about your work bench/working area please...
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2008, 03:26:27 PM »

Carpet is probably not a good idea as it holds the dirt and wildlife etc! A sealed flat wood surface is best as it is insulating and easily cleaned and you stand a fighting chance of finding the inevitable dropped widget.
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Roger in France

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Re: Pictures/information about your work bench/working area please...
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2008, 06:11:10 PM »

Where to start....?

I agree carpet is out, however, depending on your flooring material you may need insulation in the winter. Decide on that now as your working surfaces should allow for the thickness of floor covering. My solution is duck boards, try your local garden centre, DIY store or builders merchant for cheap decking type boards, about 18" square can be put down in any shape to cover your floor area and allow for cupboard bases, machinery plinths etc. To clean, lift, shake, sweep and replace. Only downside is small objects will fall between the slats.

If your bench has an engineers vice then the correct height is when you can apply a file comfortably and level at vice jaw height. If you can have an engineers vice and a carpenters vice, good for you. But also have a bench holdfast. Protect your bench top (even when it is oak - especially because it is oak) with a removable cover for a part of its length. Make this from cheap ply with a retaining lip and always work on it when cutting with a knife etc. when it gets worn, bin it and make a new one.

Power points; as above but do not double the number you think you need, treble it! Have one suspended power socket at each end of the bench this improves easy maneuvering and adds to safety.

Lighting; some good advice above but also have a strong portable light source on a firm base (for safety, plug it into one of your suspended power points when you need it).

Build vertical racks for timber with plenty of partitions to aid you when you think, "I know there is a bit just that size somewhere". For long, light, lengths have a rack under the roof.

Will you need a heat source for your comfort in winter? This may also be a way to reduce winter humidity which plays Hell with tools on racks.

Personally I never work sitting downand I never listen to the radio. Even the coffee brought to me from the kitchen usually gets forgotten....my how those dirty mugs accumulate!

I recommend two little books both in the "Workshop Practise Series" from Nexus Special Interests, #22 "Workshop Electrics" and #23 "Workshop Construction". Both are a bit dated now but it is a brilliant series of books for those of you who do not know them.

Typing fingers getting sore now, so, no more for now.

Nearly forgot....a bolt for the inside of the door for safety when using noisy machinery and you do not want to be made to jump when a visitor creeps in.....a large "Keep Out" sign for the door ;)

Roger in France.
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Bunkerbarge

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Re: Pictures/information about your work bench/working area please...
« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2008, 06:43:00 PM »

Thye metalwork side with the lathe and a mini mill and the woodwork and electrical side in a seperate room.  The kitchen island is a fantastic addition and make things so much easier.
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Roger in France

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Re: Pictures/information about your work bench/working area please...
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2008, 06:54:07 PM »

Wow, that's clean and tidy, Bunkerbarge!

Could not put up a photo of mine, it's a disgrace.

Roger in France.
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boatmadman

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Re: Pictures/information about your work bench/working area please...
« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2008, 07:05:56 PM »

Bunker,

How on earth do you manage such good results from a tidy workshop? We all know that is against the law!  :D
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Pictures/information about your work bench/working area please...
« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2008, 07:15:23 PM »

He does three months on and three months off in his job. The picture was obviously taken either just before going back to sea or upon returning. otherwise it's not natural.... 8)
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Bunkerbarge

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Re: Pictures/information about your work bench/working area please...
« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2008, 07:29:48 PM »

I just hate mess and although it isn't always quite that neat and tidy it is usually not far off.  As Colin says "It's not natural" but I'm happy ::)
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Colin H

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Re: Pictures/information about your work bench/working area please...
« Reply #12 on: September 04, 2008, 10:09:21 PM »

I think BB probably has a maid. ;D ;D. In a maids uniform? :kiss: :kiss:

Colin H.
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boatmadman

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Re: Pictures/information about your work bench/working area please...
« Reply #13 on: September 04, 2008, 10:14:38 PM »

I think thats BB's workshowroom.

I reckon his real workshop is messy like it should be.  O0
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Re: Pictures/information about your work bench/working area please...
« Reply #14 on: September 05, 2008, 09:54:10 AM »

I used those triple density foam gym matts on my workshop floor in Shanghai. It protects the floor (wood), protects the fragile tools I drop and the heart stopping shock that accompanies these moments, and reduces noise. It is also warm.

When I build an outsided workshop with concrete floors, I will either use rubber backed tiles (if I can find) or the gym mat topped with floor grade ply, or topped floor grade chiip board and tiles. This will also reduce complaints about noise from any machine tool use.
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nhp651

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Re: Pictures/information about your work bench/working area please...
« Reply #15 on: September 05, 2008, 12:41:27 PM »


My workshop is a converted garage 18' x 12' and fully insulated on all walls and ceiling/roof, and allows me to work snugly even in the deepest of winter in comfort.
The tools and machinery have been collected over a number of years, but my best aquisition is my large drawing board with parallel motion on it......wouldn't be without it, and when its not in se it hinges up to be fixed at ceiling hieght.
Please excuse the mess and junk..I just love working in squaller.I can blame my mistakes on other things than my own idiocy from time to time if I work in such conditions.
Lighting is from 3 x 6' strip lights, a number of angle poise lamps and a couple of halogen spots which not only give off great light but the heat helps with the curing of my grp ventures.
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Re: Pictures/information about your work bench/working area please...
« Reply #16 on: September 05, 2008, 12:45:45 PM »

I like the drawing board, could never manage CAD drawing techniques



Martin
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Roger in France

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Re: Pictures/information about your work bench/working area please...
« Reply #17 on: September 05, 2008, 01:05:42 PM »

Thanks for showing us yours, NHP651 (makes mine look tidy!).

Not sure what kind of heater you have there but be careful if it is gas or paraffin as they produce considerable quantities of moisture which can cause corrosion, unless fitted with an external flue.

I have never used daylight lamps but find my many strip lights, an anglepoise and a portable light quite adequate.

For storing tools I have several commercial racks with the accompanying fittings. However, I must say that I find screw hooks; spring clips and ordinary screws infinitely flexible. I also have a couple of magnetic strips often sold for use with kitchen knives. Never had a problem with them but once heard that they dull cutting edges, is that an old wives tale?

I have a De Walt radial arm saw with a large bench in the middle of the shop. Not much use in model making but superb for everything else! Also there is a demountable table which allows access to a project from all sides.

My real luxury is a dedicated, dust free room off the main shop. This has storage for all paints etc and has a large extractor hood.

Having got fed up with boring oval holes(!) I find a good, solid, pillar drill most useful. The large chuck takes a small mandrel which then holds tiny Morse bits.

An industrial vac. also helps with keeping dust down as the dust extractor on the big saw is rather unidirectional.

I once frightened myself by starting to total how much my tools and equipment were worth. I did this for insurance purposes but gave up when I realised I could never afford the premium.

Roger in France.
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Damien

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Re: Pictures/information about your work bench/working area please...
« Reply #18 on: September 05, 2008, 02:24:33 PM »

My garage is approx 30' x 8' and was originally divided in two sections i had one for modelling the other for my race car build the my son moved back home and needed a server room for his business computers & i lost half my work area and all of the larger section, then he moved again in December '07 leaving me with 3 sections the largest now houses my welder, compressor a work bench for soldering at  and Jo's and my mobility scooters.



The next pic's are of my work area, the shelf on the angle is my balsa rack, i do like shadow boards for the easy access to tools.


And organised mess is a must, there are no pic's of the floor for a good reason , point to note a dirty floor catches a lot pf paint spills.



To the right of the bench is paint, glue and seldom used tool draws, mainly a throw back to 1:1 car building.



The final section is a basically clean room for all my power tools being a Drill press that I doubled the height of the pedestal of, Bench Grinder, Belt/disc sander, Scroll saw and my favourite a Taig micro lathe.

 

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Martin [Admin]

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Re: Pictures/information about your work bench/working area please...
« Reply #19 on: September 05, 2008, 02:42:49 PM »

This is mine....






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chingdevil

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Re: Pictures/information about your work bench/working area please...
« Reply #20 on: September 05, 2008, 03:09:56 PM »

Yours does not count Martin, that is where you work.


Brian
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Martin [Admin]

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Re: Pictures/information about your work bench/working area please...
« Reply #21 on: September 05, 2008, 03:16:58 PM »


Shhhhh!  8)
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Bee

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Re: Pictures/information about your work bench/working area please...
« Reply #22 on: September 05, 2008, 05:44:57 PM »

Hints & tips:
Shelves are cheap but exposed to dust - a roller blind in front might help.
'Rooms' can be made with a plank at ceiling level holding a shower curtain for dust and to some extent heat containment.
Put a spare bit of 2x1 or whatever across the front of any benches or cabinets that dropped nuts might roll under.
Bench tops need to project and be less than 2 in thick to allow hobby vices etc to clamp on.
Electrical socket strips are best fitted down the front bench legs so the leads do not trail over the bench or provide the obsruction that a horizontal bench front mouting would.
Some angle poise lamps have a mounting that will fit in any half inch hole drilled in the bench for ease of relocation.
A hardboard top to a bench (lightly glued) can be renewed when roughed up.
Anyone use these plastic tool organisers? http://www.flambeauhardware.com/productimages/tr24_toolrack.jpg
I've been given a couple as I think wives give them as presents hoping they will instigate order but never get installed. An equivalent can be made from a mix of 2in and 1 in steel mesh. Great for small tools.

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nightowl2912

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Re: Pictures/information about your work bench/working area please...
« Reply #23 on: September 05, 2008, 07:37:09 PM »

Wow, that's clean and tidy, Bunkerbarge!

Could not put up a photo of mine, it's a disgrace.

Roger in France.

mine too

Andy
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catengineman

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Re: Pictures/information about your work bench/working area please...
« Reply #24 on: September 05, 2008, 08:11:16 PM »

If Martins work place is not allowed then mine will also fall into that category as it is my ships cabin and ships work shop (mainly)


Just two (tidy ones) I'm the nutter in dayglow

R,
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